Yukon Red

Reviewed by on December 2, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Yukon Brewing Company

  • Origin: Whitehorse, YT

  • Rated On: August 22, 2013

  • Best Before: bottled June 21, 2013

  • ABV: 5.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: Amber Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

An honorary Alberta brewery, Yukon Brewing’s products sell well in our province, coming as they do from our northern neighbours, but not nearly as well as they perform at home.  In a story so absurd that it has to be true, it turns out that Yukon Brewing’s draft products outsell Molson and Labatt’s, combined, in the territory.  Alberta craft breweries can only dream of such market share, but I’m guessing that a fair bit of critical mass homerism in a captive market (not at all a bad thing) is at play there.  Here, we have their amber ale, simply dubbed “Yukon Red”, with hop treatments in line with brewing sentiments originating way far south (and a bit west) of them.

This 341ml bottle – with nicely stark northern landscape artwork on the label – pours a clear, dark cola-hued amber colour, with two fingers of loosely foamy, kind of bubbly beige head, which settles at a lazy, unrushed pace, leaving some crashing wavecrest lace around the glass.

It smells of bold caramel/toffee malt, some buttered toasty graininess, peppy orange and grapefruit pith, a small bit of wet ash, and further piny, leafy hops – all rather inviting. The taste is roasted bready, biscuity caramel malt, a nice round, blended citrus hoppiness, mildly astringent woody pine notes, and a pleasant flinty mineral character.  The carbonation is fairly soft and restrained, the body a sturdy medium weight, and generally quite smooth. It finishes on the sweet side, but not overly so, with the biscuity nature of the malt and some lingering pine and citrus hop notes keeping things well within the realm of the sane.

I could see having at least a few of these. This may be a little big in the hops department for an amber ale, but I’m not complaining one bit – it takes it clear and above the vast majority of plain, boring Canadian-made amber or red ales – which has been a long time coming.  This neighbour with good taste is welcome to come over (providing they bring a six-pack) anytime.

Brady White

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